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Bike, Hike and Kayak Laos and Cambodia

If you're looking for an active adventure exploring the depth and beauty of these two gems of Indochina, this is the journey for you! This trip combines the best of Laos and Cambodia into one compact, exciting itinerary including kayaking, hiking, cycling and visits to small villages and intriguing cities. Our comfortable, geared bikes, support crew and steady pace mean that you'll be free to enjoy the scenery along the way, with our backup vehicle available to give tired riders a break at any time. Our journey begins in Laos in the tranquil small city of Luang Prabang, where we cycle and hike between its exquisite golden temples and to nearby caves and waterfalls. From here we head to the popular river town of Vang Vieng where we'll explore limestone caves and kayak on the scenic Nam Song River. We then head to the capital of Vientiane where we'll enjoy the city's temples and handsome colonial architecture by bike. We then fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia where we visit the floating stilt villages by of the Tonl Sap Lake via kayak, explore ancient ruins including Banteay Srey Temple, known for its pink sandstone and deep, intricate carvings. A trek to Kulen Mountain gives us a further insight into the Khmer Empire; the life size elephant statues we will encounter deep jungle are a captivating sight. Our trip concludes after exploring the glorious ancient temples, pagodas and terraces of Angkor by bike. The combination of stunning scenery, back roads adventuring and engagement with local culture makes this an ideal trip for anyone looking for an active and engaging journey in Laos and Cambodia.

Inclusions

11 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners
transfers on day 1 and day 12
expert bilingual guide
internal flights from Vientiane to Siem Reap valued at US$215
medical kit
comfortable hotels on a twin share basis
private air-conditioned vehicles
sightseeing and entry fees as listed in the itinerary
kayak and bike hire as listed in the itinerary
21 gear bikes
Hightlights
Temples, monks and markets on Luang Prabang's tranquil riverbanks
Exploring caves and kayaking rapids on Vang Vieng's Nam Song River
French colonial architecture and splendid temples in Vientiane
Floating stilt villages and flooded mangrove forests on the Tonl Sap Lake
Vibrant local cultures and warm hospitality
Siem Reap and the glorious ancient temples of Angkor
Stunning landscapes and cultural encounters providing endless photo opportunities
Tour Provider World Expeditions
Number of Days
12
Price From
AUD $2,590
Start Location
Luang Prabang, Laos
End Location
Laos
Age Range
Min :14
Group Size
4 to 16
Tour Style
Original
Tour Themes
Adventure
Physical Rating
Easy to Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
08 Jul 201819 Jul 2018AvailableAUD $2,590
05 Aug 201816 Aug 2018AvailableAUD $2,590
09 Sep 201820 Sep 2018AvailableAUD $2,590
07 Oct 201818 Oct 2018AvailableAUD $2,590
18 Nov 201829 Nov 2018AvailableAUD $2,590
16 Dec 201827 Dec 2018AvailableAUD $2,590
13 Jan 201924 Jan 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
12 Feb 201923 Feb 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
05 Mar 201916 Mar 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
07 Apr 201918 Apr 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
28 Apr 201909 May 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
02 Jun 201913 Jun 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
07 Jul 201918 Jul 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
04 Aug 201915 Aug 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
08 Sep 201919 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
06 Oct 201917 Oct 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
17 Nov 201928 Nov 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
15 Dec 201926 Dec 2019AvailableAUD $2,590
ItineraryExpand
Day 1
On arrival at the airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Please look for the WORLD EXPEDITIONS welcome sign in the arrivals hall. Rest of the day is free at leisure. There will be a trip briefing in the hotel foyer, at a time indicated in your final documents, where you will meet your guide before a welcome dinner. Overnight in Luang Prabang
Day 2
Today you enjoy cycling to visit the weaving village of Ban Xang Khong, a village well known for silk hand weaving and for traditional Saa Paper making. We continue north to Ban Pak Ou and cross the river to the Pak Ou Caves. Locally called Tam Ting, the caves are filled with thousands of gold lacquered Buddha statues. The caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of wooden Buddhist figures take many different positions, including meditation, teaching, peace, rain, and reclining (nirvana). From here we transfer back to Luang Prabang. In the afternoon, we enjoy a walking tour around Luang Prabang's old quarter to discover this beautiful town and the cultural heritage. Wat Xieng Thong is the largest and most splendid temple of Luang Prabang royal city. Built on the Mekong River bank in 1560 under the reign of King Setthathirat (1548 1571), the temple is best known for its impressive Tree of Life mural depicting the Buddhist story. The National Museum (closed on Tuesdays), housed in the former Royal Palace, showcases many treasures of Laos' royal past and features the Prabang, the sacred Buddha image for which Luang Prabang was named. Rising 150m in the centre of town, Mount Phousi cuts a distinctive figure on the Luang Prabang skyline. The hill is a popular as a place to watch the sun rise or set. From the summit you enjoy spectacular 360 degree views across the city and its many temples, and over the surrounding landscape to the mountains in the distance. The Night Market here is a great place for wandering, offering a lovely variety of handmade textiles crafted by local and hill-tribe people, along with street food, knick-knacks and friendly banter. Overnight in Luang Prabang Cycling distance: approx. 25-35 km
Day 3
An optional early start gives you the fantastic opportunity to participate in the daily morning rituals of saffron-clad monks collecting offerings of Alms (ubiquitous sticky rice) from the faithful residents. We leave Luang Prabang behind, and head out by vehicle to Ban Long Lao, (Hmong minority village). Wandering around, we learn more about life in this rural lowland Lao and Hmong community. Our trek leads us first for about half an hour through paddy fields before entering dense mixed growth jungle with a remarkable diversity of tree species. After 3 hours of an up-and-down hike through the forest, you reach Kuangsi Fall. Close to the falls we stop by the Free the Bears Sanctuary, a rehabilitation centre for Asiatic Black bears -also known as Moon bears- confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade. Continue on through the forest to see the stunning Khuang Si Waterfall. A 60m cascade feeds into multi-tiered turquoise pools set in a beautiful lush forest setting. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the pools or choose to walk up the trails to the upper section. The Khuang Si Waterfalls, where water tumbles over multi-tiered limestone formations into cool and crystal clear pools, is ideal for anyone seeking an enjoyable escape when the heat becomes unbearable. Overnight in Luang Prabang Trekking Duration: 3 hours Trekking Distance: 13kms approx. Please note: The alms giving ceremony is a daily religious event not a show for tourists. Therefore, please be respectful - dress conservatively, turn camera flashes off and carefully follow the instructions of your guide.
Day 4
After breakfast, you travel by road to Vang Vieng which will take approximately 5 hours along a scenic and windy highway. Vang Vieng, a small and tranquil town, which is nestled on a bend of the Nam Song River. Its stunning scenery with a mixture of quiet water and limestone outcrops remains unspoiled, despite recent developments with the advent of tourism. In the afternoon we explore the famous caves of Tham Jang, which was once used by the local people as a hideout from Chinese invaders. Overnight in Vang Vieng
Day 5
You will be transferred from Vang Vieng to the Khmu village of Viengsamay, about 10 km north of Vang Vieng. After an introduction to the basics of kayaking, the Nam Song offers various small but fun rapids on the way to the first stop at the cave of Tham Xang. Here we will walk up to the massive theater like cave while learning about local history about the area. After emerging from the cave a short kayak will lead us to a picnic spot on the riverside where we shall enjoy lunch. The next paddle stop is at the Organic Farm, where mulberry tea and a variety of fruit wines are produced. The Tham None Cave lies further downstream. As one of the biggest caves in Vang Vieng, it served as a rescue shelter for the villagers during the Second Indochina War. Today it is home to a bat colony and 'The Magic Stone of Vang Vieng'. The final leg is a gentle paddle - before returning to Vang Vieng in time to catch the sunset. Overnight in Vang Vieng Kayaking duration: approx. -3.5 hours in dry season/4-4.5 hours in wet season Caving/walking distance: approx. 1-1.5 hours Note: In wet season (May-September) maybe only one cave can be visited due to the fast water running.
Day 6
After breakfast you drive out of town to the fabulous capital, Vientiane, a charming and easygoing city . Along the way you make a stop to visit Vang Xang, a famous archaeological site dating back 11th century and a local market. Vientiane is the charming and fascinating capital of Laos. This small town conjures up exotic images, with the curious mix of Lao, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, French influences. After checking into your hotel there is free time to relax or explore, at your leisure. Overnight in Vientiane
Day 7
After breakfast, we will drive around Vientiane Capital in a private, air conditioned van, stopping to visit the major sights; including the city's oldest temple, Wat Sisaket - the temple with thousands of miniature Buddha statues and the former royal temple of Wat Prakeo, which previously housed the famous Emerald Buddha Image, Wat Simuang. En route we will visit the famous and sacred structure of That Luang Stupa (Great Sacred Stupa), the most important national monument in Laos, and a symbol of both the Buddhist religion and Lao sovereignty. You will also have the opportunity to view and take pictures of the imposing Patuxay Monument, which is well known as Vientiane's own Arc de Triomphe. Step back in time at the Lao Textile Museum which is housed in a traditional wooden building. The museum offers a glimpse into Laos' past with antiques as well as weaving traditions. In the afternoon you'll cycle to the outskirts of the city to visit Buddha Park, an enchanting collection of Buddhist and Hindu sculptures scattered in a meadow along the Mekong River near the Friendship Bridge. The approximately 200 religious images here were created by a mysterious monk spreading his philosophy on life and revealing his ideas about the universe. The park's signature piece is a large but very flat reclining Buddha. However, the most unusual of the structures is best described as a "giant pumpkin with a dead tree sticking out its top". You enter through the open mouth of a demon head and climb up the staircases from hell to heaven, viewing the artist's conception of life at each level of the universe, and can take in an overview of the park from atop the pumpkin. The statues were built by a Lao man in order to teach following generations about religions worldwide after his study in India. A larger park was built in Nong Khai, Thailand and his body has been kept there. Overnight: hotel.
Day 8
After breakfast, you will be transfered to the airport for your departure flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival in Siem Reap your guide will meet you and transfer you to hotel. (Please look for the WORLD EXPEDITIONS welcome sign outside the arrivals hall. Once you have checked into the hotel we'll visit Banteay Srei Temple, known for its pink sandstone and deep, intricate carvings. The carvings here, many in 3D format, are said to be so delicate that only a person with very fine hands could have carved them. Your route from the temple takes you past some lovely lush scenery and small Khmer villages. We then join hands with an effort to support reforestation progress in Cambodia by planting a tree in the Preah Dak Village. It may be a jackfruit or mango tree, which will later help both carbon offsetting and directly benefiting the local community. The trip to Pre Rup will reward you with a spectacular sunset over the Angkor Archaeological Park and its surroundings. This evening enjoy a special treat with a performance from PHARE. The Cambodian Circus has long been famous for their performances, and this NGO teaching streetkids to become circus artists is a regular at international circus conventions worldwide. Enjoy their interpretations of modern life and issues in Cambodian society. Note: Appropriate attire when visiting temples in Angkor Wat is long pants (covering the knee) and shirts that cover shoulders. Skirts, small shorts, tank tops, and other items of revealing clothing are not allowed within temple grounds. Visitors can and are frequently turned away from temples when wearing revealing clothing Overnight in Siem Reap
Day 9
Today we have a full day exploring Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples on our bikes following what is known as the 'short circuit'. After breakfast in hotel, you will cycle to the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple and marvel the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and terrace of Leper King. Ta Prohm Temple: a favorite place amongst visitors because it has become part of the jungle. Ta Prohm, unlike most other Angkor temples, has been left just it was when rediscovered: a photogenic and atmospheric maze of trees growing out of temple ruins amidst jungle surroundings, making it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. In afternoon, you continue cycle to visit the famous Angkor Wat, built for king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The largest and best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre-first Hindu, then Buddhist-since its foundation. It is a massive three-tiered structure crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. The centrepiece of any visit to the temples around Siem Reap, Angkor offers many iconic sights for amazing pictures. Following our explorations we'll enjoy the sunset view from Phnom Bakheng Angkor Wat, a moving sight. This evening we will enjoy a farewell meal together where we can reflect on the journey and enjoy the company of our new found friends. Overnight in Siem Reap Note: Appropriate attire when visiting temples in Angkor Wat is long pants (covering the knee) and shirts that cover shoulders. Skirts, small shorts, tank tops, and other items of revealing clothing are not allowed within temple grounds. Visitors can and are frequently turned away from temples when wearing revealing clothing
Day 10
After breakfast, you will be driven to the Kulen Mountain Range, approximately 60 km north of Siem Reap. Phnom Kulen is considered by Khmers to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and is a popular place of pilgrimage during weekends and festivals. First we visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity, which was the first nature conservation and endangered wildlife rescue and breeding centre in Cambodia. On your tour you will see a variety of animals and learn firsthand about efforts to save Cambodia's wildlife. Next we enjoy a visit to the River of the 1,000 Lingas and follow the trail into the natural jungle setting while seeing big rocks, which might be the hidden remains of the Khmer Empire. A small Wat at the summit of the mountain houses a large reclining Buddha carved into the very sandstone boulder on which the structure is built. Arriving on the top, you will move on by foot on trails leading to the area's villages hidden. Enjoy the natural jungle setting while exploring hidden remains of the Khmer Empire, such as life size elephant statues. Back from the jungle, you can visit a waterfall and take a refreshing dip in its pool. Overnight in Siem Reap Trekking distance approx. 11 km Trekking duration approx: 5hours Note: From Phnom Bok Village to Kulen Mountain the road is paved and would spend around 2.5 hours. 35s - 45s bus cannot drive up Kulen Mountain, then 25s bus is arranged instead.
Day 11
Take the drive to Tonle Sap Lake. On arrival, you will be amazed as you kayak gently through this floating village where you will be welcomed by warming smiles from the humble Cambodian people who live on this fantastic lake. This is an excellent opportunity to see how the people of this once sleepy village live. You can observe life in the Khmer stilt villages from the banks of the river as the local fisherman count their catch and prepare it for the markets. Rest of the day is free at leisure. Enjoy farewell dinner with Apsara dance show. Overnight in Siem Reap. Kayaking duration: approx. 1-1.5 hours Note: In low water season (Feb to Aug-Sep) the water level of the Tonle Sap Lake is very low which may affect the itinerary. Kayaking may be impossible and we can switch to Chong Kneas to do normal boat trip instead.
Day 12
Today after breakfast our trip concludes. If you are flying home today you will be transferred to the airport in time for your flight.